Most of my time stargazing that night was spent looking down.
They say that the best place to watch Hong Kong’s Symphony of Lights is the Avenue of Stars, running along the Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade along Victoria Harbour. This synchronized exterior lights and laser display features 44 of the city’s imposing buildings in both the Kowloon and Hong Kong sides of the harbor. Accompanied by music, this spectacular multimedia show happens every night for 10 minutes starting at 8pm.
Unfortunately, staying true to my name, I was a little too late. It was over by the time I got there. Poor me.
Nothing else was left to do but to go stargazing. Only this time, the stars are etched on the floor of the promenade. Much like the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the Avenue of Stars pays tribute to the outstanding members of the city’s prolific film industry. Scattered throughout the boardwalk are dozens of five-pointed stars that bear the names of the brightest movie professionals.
The Tsim Sha Tsui Waterfront Promenade was built in 1982 by the New World Group, but the Avenue of Stars was established on April 27, 2004. It was a HKD40 million project that was launched with much glitter, attended by the biggest names in the industry. Who gets to have their names embedded on these stars are chosen by the Hong Kong Film Awards Association Ltd.
To say that I was thrilled walking down the waterfront is a criminal understatement. I was ecstatic! Like a kid trying to catch a firefly, I followed the pin lights that marked the floor in search of the celebrities and movie stars that I could recognize. I remembered a friend of mine who took a picture of the names and hand prints of people involved in the Wong Kar Wai masterpiece Chungking Express and decided to do the same. Except my all-time favorite Asian film is In The Mood for Love, starring Tony Leung and Maggie Cheung.
Here are the other Asian superstars I spotted.
But their stars shone no brighter than the magnetic statue on the far end of the boardwalk. Bruce Lee, Hong Kong’s legendary film actor and martial artist, shows off his signature pose. It was around this statue that I found the biggest swarm of tourists, all of whom wanted to have a photo taken next to it.
I looked up and tried to find a real star, but their sparkles were turned faint by the district’s majestic skyline. Stars may be on leave that night, but I was in stellar company. Travel may be my greatest passion, but film is my first love. And this place felt more romantic than it probably should.
How to get to the Avenue of Stars: Take the train to East Tsim Sha Tsui MTR Station and use Exit J. From here, it is only a 3-minute walk. It should be on your left. If coming from Nathan Road near the Tsim Sha Tsui Station, you can walk through the pedestrian subway to EAST Tsim Sha Tsui Station. Just follow the signs that lead to Exit J and you’ll be fine. More detailed directions here.